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Bitcoin not a Legal Tender in India, stated Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, on the topic of cryptocurrencies in the Raja Sabha. Mr. Jaitley reiterated that government's stand on cryptocurrencies has still not changed and any virtual currency, such as Bitcoin, shall not be considered as legal tenders in the country.
Government is still playing a waiting game, for the experts panel report to come out on the topic of cryptocurrencies. Only after that government will make the next move–as a decisive step towards formally declaring their stand–on the topic.
"The government does not want to take any substantial steps before the report is filed. We will look into the report and then issue corrective measures after a thorough understanding of the situation. We will also take the global scenario into consideration. However, we have clearly stated that dealing with virtual currencies is at one's own risk”.
Mr. Jaitely further added, that the Indian government is waiting for the committee to come up with their detailed report, as they do not want to take any hasty decision without taking all the factors into account. The committee–investigating the matter–is being headed by the Secretary of Economic Affairs Department.
The Finance Minister further stated:
"Since December 24, 2013, the government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have maintained the same stand on bitcoins and other forms of virtual currencies. Through multiple notifications, the two parties have notified the public time and again that bitcoins will not be considered lawful or legal tender in India".
Mr. Jaitely said that it becomes very difficult for the indian government to keep a tab on the terrorist and other delinquent activities, due to the anonymous nature of cryptocurrencies and how the money is being used.
Even before government had allegedly advised to close crypto trading in India.
"One of the features of cryptocurrency is that there is lack of dependence on the state. It functions with a degree of anonymity. It operates within a virtual community which is created and enjoys the trust of that virtual community".